‘Intense competition’ forces frozen food firm to close

By Noli Dinkovski contact

- Last updated on GMT

Freshpack supplied frozen food and discount stores with branded and own-label products
Freshpack supplied frozen food and discount stores with branded and own-label products
Frozen pastry and ready meals manufacturer Freshpack is to close with the loss of around 60 jobs after the business failed to find a buyer.

Administrator Dunham Dean Advisory said it had been liaising with a number of parties but the low margins in the industry had deterred all potential buyers.

The “intense competition”​ of the convenience sector and the fall in sterling had forced up costs, making the business unviable, it added.

Established in 1952, Freshpack supplied frozen food and discount stores with branded and own-label products.

The Alsager, Cheshire-based company went into administration in early June following a period of difficult trading but continued to operate while a buyer was sought.

60 staff will leave

Ten staff were made redundant in the wake of the administration and the remaining team of around 60 will leave in the coming days.

Matt Dunham of Dunham Dean Advisory said the margins that Freshpack could achieve were simply not sufficient to make it attractive to a buyer.

“The convenience food sector is the subject of intense competition, particularly at the value end of the market, and the fall in sterling has forced up costs,”​ he said.

“While the business initially attracted strong interest, and we have been in discussion with a number of parties, none of them felt able to conclude a deal. After the only remaining buyer walked away this week, there was no alternative but to cease trading.

“It is with great regret that we have to announce the closure of the business but we would like to thank staff for their loyal support during what has been a difficult period.”

Food business closures

Freshpack is one of a number of high-profile food businesses to close in recent months.

Last month, Young’s Seafood has confirmed it will be closing its Pinneys site​in Annan, Scotland towards the end of the year. The closure puts 450 jobs at risk.

Also in June, New Covent Garden Soup Company brand owner The Hain Daniels Group announced it is to close its soup manufacturing site in Peterborough​, with the loss of 80 jobs.

In March, Unilever confirmed it will be closing its Colman’s Norwich factory​ at the end of 2019, putting 113 jobs at risk.

Meanwhile, organic children’s food manufacturer Miniscoff is seeking a buyer for its brand and business​, after it ceased trading in May.

Related topics: Bakery, Frozen

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